March 30, 2007

Arkansas becomes tenth state to pass custom car registration classification law

Washington, D.C. – Arkansas has enacted legislation, modeled on SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) legislation, to amend the vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods (hot rods) and create a classification for custom vehicles. Arkansas joins Virginia, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana and Rhode Island as states that have enacted similar bills into law.

Under the new law, a “street rod” is defined as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949, and a “custom” as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. Importantly, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.

The new law allows for the use of non-original materials, provides for special license plates and permits the use of blue-dot taillights; it also exempts street rods and customs from a range of standard equipment requirements and emissions controls, requiring only equipment originally required in the model year that the vehicle represents. Vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles may only be used for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades and tours, and not for general daily transportation.

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